This is how COVID-19 reshaped the future of sales

While the full consequences of the pandemic are still unknown, it is already obvious that the economic consequences are serious.

New customer habits and these difficult economic times are affecting your sales strategy. Managing your sales team through this crisis proves to be quite challenging. Especially when COVID-19 disrupts the daily work of your sales team and reshaped your clients’ behaviour

What caused these undeniable changes in your customers’ behaviour?

Before the pandemic, digital trends were already in motion and accelerating. Now, we find ourselves at a critical digital turning point. What we can say with certainty is that future sales business will look different. You have to ask yourself if you are prepared to adapt your sales strategy to overcome this crisis.


The age of the customer

How have digital channels changed for companies since the COVID-19 tragedy began? Sales leaders rate digital interaction approximately twice as important now as they did before. Digital channels have radically accelerated which is affecting your business.

Is this shift reflected in your customers’ behaviours?

When customers search for products and services, they prefer digitally-enabled sales interactions. This shift in preference contributed to the sharp increase in suppliers’ mobile apps, social media, and online tools.

Buyers express a strong preference for self-service channels when looking to perform a purchase. Since 2019 suppliers’ mobile apps and website have doubled in importance. In other words, your customers now have new expectations and higher standards.

How do you adapt to your customers’ needs?

It is not enough to just give customers multiple self-service options. Customers no longer accept less from their professional life as buyers. They grew familiar with their personal experience as consumers and expect the same treatment.

Additionally, your customer wants to be treated the same way at all times. No matter what channel they are using or switching to. Your customers want a personalised and unified experience through your omnichannel.

Get it right by delivering on the key assets that customers value the most

Keep these three assets in mind: be fast, act transparent, and show know-how. You should make it a priority to apply these across all communication channels.


The great shift in virtual Sales models

For almost all functions in most sectors, the shift to remote selling was born out of necessity due to the lockdowns and social distancing. The situation forced people to work from home.

How have Sales teams reacted to this shift?

A large proportion of them started to work via video conferencing or telephone. Many companies supported their sales teams by establishing multidisciplinary commercial central centres. Sales teams could now manage sales activities both inhouse and onsite for customers.

What can you do to help and support your customers at all times?

You need to figure out how to deploy your sales professionals across your omnichannel. You probably noticed video meetings, webinars, (soft)phone, virtual chatbots, etc. taking over traditional face-to-face touchpoints. However, keep in mind that the human touch still plays a crucial role.


Connect your Marketing and Sales

Today we see more cross-functional collaboration between Sales and Marketing. Marketing observed more engagement with their content since COVID-19, making it a valuable source of warm leads for Sales.

How can Marketing and Sales keep your buyers’ attention?

The pandemic greatly impacted buyer behaviour and the economy needs time to recover. Your sales professionals must now define a data-driven sales approach to instantly act on opportunities. Above all, your sales and marketing data will play a crucial role in your strategy.

Why is Human Resources becoming more relevant to Sales leaders?

New skillsets are required in addition to the traditional sales skills. Therefore, HR needs to actively train and educate your sales teams if you want to win your battles.

How does the ideal Sales professional look like today?

Future sales require various tools and more technology than before. Your typical business-savvy sales professional needs more flavour. What you are looking for is someone who has deep insights, absorbs sales and marketing data, and puts the customer at the centre of all his or her actions.


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Questions on how your business can start selling smarter?

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